TRICARE Changes Will Impact Military Retirees

One of the most important benefits for a military member who has retired from the Armed Services is access to health care coverage under one of the TRICARE program’s health plans.

Many military retirees who are not in a military concentration area are enrolled in what is known as TRICARE Select. In 2018, this plan replaced what was previously known as TRICARE Standard. There are important changes coming that may affect your coverage.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, all military retirees who enlisted before January 1, 2018 will be required to pay an enrollment fee to maintain health coverage under this program, as a result of changes mandated in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2017. Enrollment fees will be $12.50 per month for an individual or $25 per month for a family. For those who do not enroll by the deadline, the last day of their TRICARE health coverage will be December 31, 2020.

West Virginia veterans must contact their regional contractor, Humana Military, no later than December 14, 2020 to set up their enrollment fee payment. Payments can be set up as a monthly allotment from a military pay center. Those who get their retirement pay from anywhere other than a military pay center will need to pay using a credit/debit card, or electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a U.S. bank.

This change will not affect those who use TRICARE For Life, TRICARE Prime, or premium-based plans, such as TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, or TRICARE Young Adult. This is only for those under the TRICARE Select plan.

For more information, contact your nearest West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance benefits office. You can also contact the Office of the Cabinet Secretary at WVDVA@wv.gov or at 304-578-3661 to be directed to a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) that can assist you.

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